Thursday, May 13, 2010

Meatless Mondays

Have you heard about the Meatless Mondays campaign?

I love the idea: their goal is to "help reduce meat consumption [by] 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet."

Why meatless? "Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel." Hell yes!

Why Monday? "For most Americans the week begins on Monday. On Monday we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress. From an early age we internalize this rhythm. And studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet." Awesome! I love that. Hadn't ever thought about it, but makes lots of sense. And I really love that they are of the it's-all-a-spectrum ilk; ie, if you don't go meatless this Monday, there's always next Monday to give it a whirl.

As any longtime readers of this here blog know, around here at Casa Dena we usually do the inverse: Meatful One-Day-a-Week! But I know that it's hard for lots of folks to give up meat for dinner, especially if you grew up with the framework that dinner simply isn't dinner without meat on the plate. So I totally applaud the attempt to get people to forgo meat one day a week; it's very do-able. And I love that they're getting restaurants in on it. What a way to normalize it, make it seem do-able, and make it easy for folks to take part.

And the newest signer-on? Mario Batali! Yes, he of orange-croc-wearing fame, of Food Network fame, of mouth-wateringly delicious food at restaurants like Babbo fame.

How cool!

And another bonus to a meatless anyday: it's much cheaper! Going without meat is a real recession special, if you ask me. My recent recession special new trick: using dried, bulk beans. It is difficult to remember to soak those bad boys the night before, but when you do, it feels like you've turned $0.37 into a meal for four people!

And if you're interested in good recipes for your next Meatless Monday, I've got lots of vegetarian recipes in my archives. Or you can check out my favorite simple and yummy vegetarian food blog, 101 Cookbooks.

So what about you? How often do you eat or cook meat? If you don't eat it every day of the week, do you do that consciously? How hard would it be for you to not eat meat every Monday?

(Also, can we talk about that little fact that the entire city of San Francisco signed on? That RULES! I'm not exactly clear what that means for dear old SF, but I can imagine it really working out there.)

(And a big hat tip to my dear friend -- and truly delicious home chef -- James for alerting me to Chef Batali's joining the campaign!)


  1. Agreed that San Fransisco is the perfect ground zero for this campaign. I'm guessing you can't even run a restaurant there without a couple of vegetarian entrees on the menu - maybe this will persuade some of them to go all meatless on Monday nights.

  2. our version is at least 1 meatless breakfast, lunch, + dinner each week: equals 1 day, but spread over different days.

  3. ...and while i do love a good steak, lamb chop, milanese, wild salmon fillet, roasted chicken, or burger on aome rotating basis every several weeks, it actually kinda amazes me how little animal protein we use on a daily basis to flavor pasta sauces, soups, stir-frys, fritatte, legume dishes, sandwiches, et al.; even in sausages and meatloaves i use a lot of veggies and WW bread crumbs to lighten the texture...

    how 'bout processed-food-less tuesdays or no-added-sugar wednesdays?!

  4. I loooove the idea of Processed-food-less Tuesdays and No-Added-Sugar Wednesdays!

    Around here, every day is no added sugar pretty much. And for me personally, every day is No Sugar Whatsoever!

    Most days are processed-food-less too...though I do love these little protein bars that are definitely processed food. But I don't eat them every day. So those days I go without processed food for sure.


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